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George GissingNew Grub Street (January 10, 2010)

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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LibriVox recording of New Grub Street by George Gissing

The story deals with the literary world that Gissing himself had experienced. Its title refers to the London street, Grub Street, which in the 18th century became synomynous with hack literature; as an institution, Grub Street itself no longer existed in Gissing's time. Its two central characters are a sharply contrasted pair of writers:
Edwin Reardon, a novelist of some talent but limited commercial prospects, and a shy, cerebral man; and Jasper Milvain, a young journalist, hard-working and capable of generosity, but cynical and unscrupulous about writing and its purpose in the modern (i.e. late Victorian) world.(Summary from Wikipedia)

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M4B format available



This audio is part of the collection: The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
It also belongs to collection: Audio Books & Poetry

Artist/Composer: George Gissing
Date: 2010-01-10
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Keywords: grub street; gissing; romance; audiobooks; librivox;

Creative Commons license: Public Domain


Individual Files

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[generated 128Kbps MP3 ZIP] 128Kbps MP3 ZIP Stream 
[generated 64Kbps MP3 ZIP] 64Kbps MP3 ZIP Stream 
Audio Files 128kbps M3U 64Kbps MP3 ZIP 128Kbps MP3 Ogg Vorbis PNG 64Kbps MP3 Essentia High GZ Essentia Low GZ Spectrogram
01 - Chapter 01 - A Man of His Day 20.3 MB 
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02 - Chapter 02 - The House of Yule 21.2 MB 
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03 - Chapter 03 - Holiday, Part 1 14.9 MB 
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04 - Chapter 03 - Holiday, Part 2 23.7 MB 
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05 - Chapter 04 - An Author and His Wife 24.7 MB 
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06 - Chapter 05 - The Way Hither 28.5 MB 
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07 - Chapter 06 - The Practical Friend 25.7 MB 
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08 - Chapter 07 - Marian's Home, Part 1 24.2 MB 
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09 - Chapter 07 - Marian's Home, Part 2 28.3 MB 
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10 - Chapter 08 - To the Winning Side, Part 1 18.1 MB 
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11 - Chapter 08 - To the Winning Side, Part 2 17.9 MB 
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12 - Chapter 09 - Invita Minerva 22.7 MB 
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13 - Chapter 10 - The Friends of the Family 30.0 MB 
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14 - Chapter 11 - Respite 15.3 MB 
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15 - Chapter 12 - Work Without Hope 20.5 MB 
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16 - Chapter 13 - A Warning 22.0 MB 
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17 - Chapter 14 - Ecruits 36.5 MB 
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18 - Chapter 15 - The Last Resource, Part 1 15.4 MB 
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19 - Chapter 15 - The Last Resource, Part 2 16.1 MB 
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20 - Chapter 16 - Rejection 28.0 MB 
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21 - Chapter 17 - The Parting 37.0 MB 
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22 - Chapter 18 - The Old Home 20.6 MB 
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23 - Chapter 19 - The Past Revived 19.7 MB 
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24 - Chapter 20 - The End of Waiting 38.4 MB 
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25 - Chapter 21 - Mr Yule Leaves Town, Part 1 17.7 MB 
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26 - Chapter 21 - Mr Yule Leaves Town, Part 2 26.2 MB 
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27 - Chapter 22 - The Legatees 28.4 MB 
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28 - Chapter 23 - A Proposed Investment 27.8 MB 
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29 - Chapter 24 - Jasper's Magnanimity 28.5 MB 
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30 - Chapter 25 - A Fruitless Meeting, Part 1 13.2 MB 
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31 - Chapter 25 - A Fruitless Meeting, Part 2 19.5 MB 
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32 - Chapter 26 - Married Woman's Property 28.0 MB 
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33 - Chapter 27 - The Lonely Man, Part 1 16.7 MB 
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34 - Chapter 27 - The Lonely Man, Part 2 24.8 MB 
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35 - Chapter 28 - Interim 24.8 MB 
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36 - Chapter 29 - Catastrophe 29.8 MB 
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37 - Chapter 30 - Waiting on Destiny 31.9 MB 
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38 - Chapter 31 - A Rescue and a Summons, Part 1 16.0 MB 
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39 - Chapter 31 - A Rescue and a Summons, Part 2 19.1 MB 
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40 - Chapter 32 - Reardon Becomes Practical 27.2 MB 
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41 - Chapter 33 - The Sunny Way 24.3 MB 
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42 - Chapter 34 - A Check, Part 1 15.4 MB 
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43 - Chapter 34 - A Check, Part 2 18.6 MB 
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44 - Chapter 35 - Fever and Rest 22.0 MB 
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45 - Chapter 36 - Jasper's Delicate Case 28.7 MB 
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46 - Chapter 37 - Rewards 3.9 KB 
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Image Files JPEG JPEG Thumb
New_Grub_Street_1210.jpg 93.1 KB 
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Information FormatSize
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grub_street_1001_librivox_meta.xml Metadata 2.2 KB 
grub_street_1001_librivox_reviews.xml Metadata 3.3 KB 
Other Files Archive BitTorrent
grub_street_1001_librivox_archive.torrent 108.8 KB 

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Average Rating: 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: susan smith nash - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - August 4, 2014
Subject: Extreme Naturalism / Nihilism for the "Ignobly Decent"
Probably Gissing’s most well-known and most highly-regarded novel is the story of several professional writers in 1880s London. Theirs is a world of genteel poverty, health-ruining work, bitter literary feuds, and dreams of becoming either a famous writer or an influential tastemaker or critic as the editor of an influential journal.

In highly naturalistic fashion, Gissing explores within the unfolding of overlapping lives, how writers and their families endeavor to transcend poverty and uncertainty, and as they do so, they are faced with decision points. Some suffer because they refuse to compromise, and other suffer because they do compromise and attempt to marry for money and engage in duplicitous self-promotion and careerism. Gissing does not condemn even the most rascally or degenerate of his characters because he maintains that poverty is the force that degrades people and compels demoralizing choices.

There is no meritorious final reward for those who write works of real literary value. Instead, literature is commercialized, and success rests more on the behaviors of the buyers, whether they be individuals or public lending libraries.

While this state of affairs seems less than remarkable to the reader of the 21st century, the mass production of print and the selling of ads, coupled with a vast expansion of a public education resulting in a wider reading public, resulted in dramatic changes in society. Because of the changes in society and technology, it was possible to earn a living as a writer, but it was often precarious at best, due to the ever-shifting tastes of the public, the format of the printed works, and the vested interests of critics and taste-makers.

In the end, the abstemious and idealistic writer, Reardon, dies with what looks a lot like a terminal case of writer’s block. The literary critic, Albert Yule, and his daughter turned research assistant and amanuensis, goes blind and have mad with paranoia, resentment, and general bile. The starving innovator, Harold Biffen, seeks to explore a new sub-genre of realism that profiles the “ignobly decent” in his great work, Mr. Baily, Grocer. A complete commercial flop, the profoundly discouraged Biffen ultimately commits suicide by taking poison. The Machiavellian writer and aspiring critic / editor Jasper Millvain succeeds, as does Reardon’s widow, Amy, who marries Jasper after her husband’s death.

In New Grub Street, the large cast of characters have interweaving, complex lives, as they attempt immortality through writing. Gissing suggests that their goals are ultimately nihilistic, for the same technology which makes possible mass production and mass distribution of published works also makes them invisible in the ever intensifying tides and surges of new waves of printed paper, much of which is never read.

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